15 Celebrities on the Role They Most Regret

EntertainmentPublished Oct 7, 2023
By Wendy Robinson
CelebritiesDavid M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Magic Mike Live, Getty Images

We've all heard stories of the big roles that actors didn't get but wish they had. Halle Berry famously turned down Speed and regretted it when it was a huge hit. Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Bella in Twilight but lost out to Kristen Stewart. Poor Jennifer also lost out on the lead in the movie Easy A, which went to Emma Stone instead. Although actors are sometimes open about the roles they wished they'd done, only a few brave ones are willing to confess to the roles they wish they HADN'T done at all!

The truth is that actors who are lucky enough to have a long career will probably be unlucky enough to eventually do a role that is either a total dud or that they just don't feel good about once the film or television show comes out. This includes some of the biggest stars of the day whose regrets include super heroes, action roles, and unfortunate sequels that probably should never have happened.

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Carrie Fisher-placeholder
Carrie Fisher
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Carrie Fisher

They might be some of the most popular movies in the galaxy, but that doesn't mean everyone was happy to be in the cast. Carrie Fisher revealed before she died that she wouldn't have starred as Princess Leia in Star Wars if she'd known how successful the movies would be because she didn't like losing her privacy.

Will Smith-placeholder
Will Smith
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Will Smith

For all his many successful movies, Will Smith has also had a few pretty big flops along the way. He's stated that he most regrets his role in the 2013 After Earth because he starred in it with his son and they both had to deal with the fallout of being in a box office bomb.

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Ben Affleck
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Ben Affleck

Starring in the movie Daredevil left Ben Affleck feeling slightly less than heroic. He has been very blunt about his feelings, stating "I hate Daredevil so much." He's been much happier to portray Batman, which was a much bigger success for him.

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Angus T. Jones: Then-placeholder
Angus T. Jones: Then
Cliff Lipson/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Angus Jones

Child actor Angus T. Jones seems to have wholly rejected Hollywood in favor of a more religious life. He's spoken negatively about his breakthrough role in TV's Two and a Half Men, calling it "filth". "I’m on Two and a Half Men and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth.," he shared. "People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch."

Viola Davis-placeholder
Viola Davis
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for SXSW

Viola Davis

Viola Davis is a queen and we love her in almost everything. She, however, doesn't love the role she had in the movie The Help. She told Vanity Fair magazine that "Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity. They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be Black, but...it’s catering to the white audience.

"The white audience at the most can sit and get an academic lesson into how we are," she continued. "Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were...There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help. But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people..."

emilia clarke crown-placeholder
emilia clarke crown
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Emilia Clarke

After she had her big break on Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke tried her hand at Broadway. She was cast as the iconic Holly Golightly in a production of Breakfast at Tiffany's that was widely panned. She said she regrets taking the role because she just wasn't ready for it at the time and didn't do it justice.

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Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'
David Bro/Corbis, James Higgins/Corbis

Eddie Redmayne

Eddie Redmayne may have been nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl, but he was also criticized for taking the role, given that he is a cis-gender man. He eventually agreed with the critics and said that given the chance, he'd pass on the role now.

"No, I wouldn’t take it on now," he said. "I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake … The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table. There must be a leveling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates."

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Sandra Bullock-placeholder
Sandra Bullock
Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Sandra Bullock

Given the recent controversies over the family that inspired the film The Blind Side, some might expect that film to be Sandra Bullock's most regrettable role. Nope! She's gone on the record saying that she's not a fan of the movie Speed 2.


Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway made a public apology for her role in the film The Witches, noting that the movie caused pain to people with limb differences and that she felt bad for any kids hurt by the film, noting that she "particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences. Now that I know better, I promise I’ll do better. And I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own kids: I’m sorry I let your family down."

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Robert Pattison - Now
Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Corbis

Robert Pattinson

Given the choice between sparkly vampires or, well, almost anything else, it is safe to assume that Robert Pattinson will chose the anything else. He's said that he didn't love the character of Edward Cullen and that the films aren't ones he particularly likes.

Channing Tatum -placeholder
Channing Tatum
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum hated his role in G.I. Joe the Rise of the Cobra so much that he begged to be killed off as quickly as possible in the sequel. He told Howard Stern that he only did the role because he was forced into it because of a contract with the movie studio.

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Katherine Heigl
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Katherine Heigl

Knocked Up was one of Katherine Heigl's biggest roles, but it's the film she isn't really proud of. She's revealed that she thinks the movie is sexist and shows men as lovable goofballs and women as shrews and isn't always proud of her work in it.

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Idris Elba
Splash News

Idris Elba

Idris Elba has reservations about Stringer Bell, the character he played on the critically acclaimed show The Wire, sharing in a the podcast Unfiltered that "We're all idolizing Stringer Bell, but who are we really idolizing? Is it okay to pump a community full of heroin, but because you're smart at it that makes you cool?"

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Jessica Alba
Splash News

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba hated her role in the Fantastic Four so much that it made her contemplate quitting acting entirely. She blamed the director for her unhappiness and making her question if she had any talent or acting ability at all. Harsh!

Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2-placeholder
Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2
Paramount Pictures

Michelle Pfeiffer

Some people argue that Grease 2 is one of the worst sequels of all time, and Michelle Pfeiffer would not disagree with them! She's stated that she hated the film and that she knew the first one would be "a really tough act to follow" and that she wasn't confident as a singer or dancer.

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